How Was It For You?




In the Dáil.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is delivering his sixth budget speech since 2011. To wit:

9% VAT rate for tourism and hospitality industry will be retained

Start Your Own Business scheme to be extended for a further two years

Low cost, highly flexible loan fund for farmers announced

€1,270 income tax credit for fishermen

Help to Buy scheme announced for first-time buyers relating to newly-built homes

Home renovation scheme extended for two years to end of 2018

Rent-a-Room income ceiling up by €2,000 to €14,000

Lower three USC rates to be reduced by 0.5% – USC 1% rate cut to 0.5%; 3% rate cut to 2.5%; 5.5% rate cut to 5%

2.5% USC rate ceiling increased from €18,668 to €18,772

€100 increase in Home Carers’ Credit to €1,100

DIRT will be reduced by 2% each year to 2020 (41% to 33%)

Mortgage Interest Relief will be extended beyond December 2017 to 2020

Earned Income Tax Credit for self-employed increased by €400 to €950

New relief from carbon tax for solid fuels announced

Intention to introduce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in April 2018 after public consultation

Excise duty on pack of 20 cigarettes to go up by 50 cents

€1.2bn in funding for housing, with 47,000 new social housing units by 2021

Additional €105m to enable 15,000 more households to avail of the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme

Budget 2017: The key points (RTÉ)

Watch live here

Earlier: What About A Radical Alternative?

74 thoughts on “How Was It For You?

  1. Increasing Displacement

    Up to 20K rebate on new gaffs
    Watch new gafs go up suddenly in price by up to 20K

    1. DubLoony

      With a limit of up to 600K.
      What first time buyer ever paid 600K for a gaff?

      This does not apply to first time buyers of second hand homes. So useless for real people, this is a tax break for developers only.
      They have been sitting on their hands waiting for tax breaks.

    2. Donal

      I put initial deposit down on new build, as first time buyer, a few weeks back.
      Contract of sale not yet with solicitor, I expect it will be within days.
      I expect the purchase price as agreed a few weeks ago will have gone up by 5% in the contract.
      Builder was happy to sell at agreed price, increase is nothing but extra profit for them.
      Maybe I’m wrong, bet ya I’m not

    1. Anomanomanom

      Why would you have a sugar tax. Seriously why not just tax overweight(that’s not from a medical condition) people some sort of health levy since this is about health and not at all about just making more money.

    2. Nikkeboentje

      I recently lost 15kg and the main thing I cut out of my diet was sugar, so I am a firm believer that sugar is evil. However, I don’t think a tax on drinks is the way forward. People need to be properly educated about the negative aspects of sugar and bad diet in general. Also, why is the tax just on drinks? Sugar is everywhere. Most low fat products have about 15% to 20% more sugar in them than the “standard” product.

      1. Fact Checker


        Should we:
        -educate people about the dangers of tobacco?
        -tax it very heavily?

        Or some combination of both?

        1. Nikkeboentje

          At least the tax on tobacco is on all tobacco products. Why are they just targeting drinks with the sugar tax, sugar is in loads of stuff in very high levels.

        2. rotide

          the heavy tax on tobacco is nothing to do with public health and everything to do with public money.

          If the government were serious about public health and smoking, they would ban the sale of cigarettes entirely and make tobacco only available from chemists or whatever with to registered smokers.

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            I’d like to see a government ban tobacco outright and survive politically though it has been suggested elsewhere. I also imagine it would be difficult to control in a country that is part the EU as discussed below black market smokes are already around.

            I see no problem taxing people on a product that has such terrible impacts on health and the health of others. Tax it to the hilt but that money should be channelled into the health service, smoking cessation services and other health initiatives.

          2. edalicious

            They should raise the age limit on smoking by a year every year. No one who ever took up smoking legally would be made to quit and no one not old enough would ever be able to legally take it up. The only problem would be that you’d be paying for treatment for all the old smokers without the tax take on new ones though.

          3. some old queen

            @ Dόn Pídgéόní and edalicious

            Did it ever occur to you geniuses that back in the day, everyone smoked yet were more healthy?

            Taxing tobacco to the point of probation only grows the black market to the point where stats about how many people smoke mean frig all.

          4. Caroline™

            Of course, yes, back in the day, smokers were fine. But round about now, they’ll be getting a cough that won’t go away or a funny sensation when swallowing.

          5. some old queen

            This would explain why those who switch to tobacco only purchase are for the most part… sugar free.

          6. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Yes, the black market was one of my points. I clearly am a genius.

            But given people died much earlier ‘back in the day’, of you know, industrial accidents or falling down mines or war or CHD caused by eating lard and smoking 50 a day, I’d say you missed the genius boat today.

          7. some old queen

            My point is that slapping on tax may be an easy revenue generating exercise but it has very little to do with health care because when people buy counterfeit they are using an unregulated product which is potentially way more dangerous.

            Probation does not work.

            It never did.

    3. Feidlim MacSásta

      The sugar tax is simply an extortion game being played by politicians in the hope the industry will buy then off with a massive bribe.

  2. Sue

    I would have preferred to see rent relief brought back. Help everyone not just those buying new builds.

  3. scottser

    I’m a fisherman renting a room in my house and looking after my sick ma who’s going to leave me her 300k house.

  4. francis almond

    Where are these new houses in Dublin that first time buyers can afford? Just the name of one development??

      1. Marian

        Typical comment reader.

        Keep renting in D6W till you’re 35 so. At which stage you’ll be too old for a mortgage. Maybe if you spent less time commenting and less on nights out on South William Street/brunches in Ranelagh, you wouldn’t be faced with such grim options.

        1. rotide

          No negative equaity
          No horrific commute daily from D175
          Nights out and brunches.

          Where did it all go wrong Mr Best?

    1. DubLoony

      9% VAT for hospitality retained yet no commitment extracted on #Livingwage or stable hours of work.
      Fiver to shore up the pensioner vote.
      Negligible amount for minimum wage

      Overall, meh.

      All this is headlines. The next step is the Finance Act to bring it to implementation. Lot of horse trading goes on between then and now to make changes. That is what we should really keep any eye on.

  5. Coppélia

    That Budget is the equivalent of a piddly prize on the Late Late Show. One for every handshaker in the audience. Marbella 2017 for the Nama toasting developers.

  6. eric cartman

    they shouldnt have restored public sector pay or increased the social. They could have abolished the USC with the savings to be made there.

    1. Feidlim MacSásta

      You mean stamp on the less well off and give tax breaks to those who don’t need them?

      1. Marian

        Such is life.

        “the less well off” – ffs. You seem to conflate being “less well off” with objective impoverishment.

        The top 10% always do better. They get paid better, live in bigger houses, get much better sex, have better offspring, are better educated, etc. They also drink less, smoke less, have better health, and are less inclined to behave compulsively.

        It’s not just about money. If we had perfect “equality” and divided everything up “equally” it wouldn’t be long before the above situation emerges yet again – such is life.

        There are snakes and ladders everywhere. Most people in the world today would give their right arm for the chance to avail of the opportunities in Ireland and its incredibly generous fall-back welfare system. At the end of the day, if you’re waiting around for “the government” to improve your lot, then you’ll die miserable and full of regrets. Might as well pi$$ it all up against the wall and sit at home complaining all day from your bedsit complete with fibre internet connection.

          1. LW

            That was what stood out for me too actually. Do they use the money during the sex as an aid or something?

  7. Feidlim MacSásta

    It’s amazing that no journalists expose the scam that is first time buyers grant for new homes when it should also apply to second hand homes.

    It’s a customer acquisition exercise on behalf of builders, paid for by the state (you).

    There is no reason why first time buyers grant cannot apply to ALL homes for sale.

    1. edalicious

      In theory, it’s supposed to encourage the building of new homes because there is a housing shortage. You’d be better off having no grant rather than put it across the board because it would just increase house prices that way. Not that it’s not going to increase prices as it is though.

  8. Zaccone

    Shame the sugar tax isn’t coming in sooner. Anything that helps to tackle the growing obesity crisis even slightly, while raising government revenue, can only be good.

    1. ReproBertie

      It won’t make a blind bit of difference. Sugary drinks are not the cause of the obesity crisis. If they were ringfencing the money to fund sports facilities or educate parents about healthy eating or something similar then maybe it would be useful. As it stands it’s just an attempt to take more money from people while acting like it’s for their own good.

      1. Steve

        Everybody past junior cert is a lost cause. The amount of fat kids walking around town drinking cans of coke.

        We should take the weight / blood pressure and body fat % of every child up to 15 at the start of every school year. Put it all on a DSP database. Screw Dara protection concerns. If the child is within healthy range based on age the parents get a substantial tax credit in following tax year. If in the next year the kid is still in healthy range they get slightly bigger credit . If they get worse then they get less etc etc. At a particular point outside of healthy range they fall out of tax credit altogether.

        Any kids who start off outside the healthy ranges, tax credit for first year, to incentivise Getting them into shape, but if still outside after 2nd year, no tax credit.

        1. scottser

          yeah and we can make the fat kids wear some form of identifier, like say, a yellow bicursal star and round them up into special ‘work’ camps.

      2. Zaccone

        Of course it’ll make a difference. If a bottle of coke costs 3eur, and a bottle of water costs 1eur, which do you think a parent will push their child to get? If a child’s pocket money in future only buys 50% of the sweets it did before how do you think they’ll keep eating sweets at the same level as before?

        Its a blunt instrument, but short of far more intrusive government intervention in child rearing its the easiest first step in the fight against obesity.

        1. ReproBertie

          The tax is only on sugary drinks. It will make no difference to the kids who eat a portion of wedges on the way to school or fill up on biscuits, crisps and chocolate or have their lunch in McDonalds, Burger King, Supermacs or the local chipper.

          As I said, it’s lip service but clearly it’s fooled at least one person into thinking the government is taking action.

  9. Steve

    Iona ain’t gonna be happy.

    Incentivising parents to send their kids to childcare and go out to work

  10. Feidlim MacSásta

    9% VAT kept until all the ex Rugger stars have made all their cash money on pop-up restaurants run by overworked and underpaid burger chefs and pizza spinners.

    *Land Rover Defender parked up on the footpath outside*

  11. Junkface

    Self employed get nothing again. Income tax ceiling is still way too low, the increase for pensioners is cynical populist politics with a view towards the next election and getting the grey vote. There’s no real long term planning, or proper preparation for Brexit, so its business as usual for the cosy cartels of Ireland.

    Would Ireland even function economically if it wasn’t for the massive taxes on alchohol and tobacco? I doubt it. No help for people renting or trying to buy a home.

    More emmigration so.,.

  12. some old queen

    The big deal about this budget is that it was signed off by the opposition.

    History in the making right here today 11/10/2016.

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